03/15/09
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives (Baetis) - sparse hatches
2. Blue Quills - hatching
3. Quill Gordons - hatching
4. Hendricksons - could start within a couple more weeks
5. Little Black Caddis - hatching
6. Winter Stoneflies - sparse hatches
7. Little Brown Stoneflies - hatching
8. Midges - hatching in isolated locations
9. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

Fishing High Water in the Smokies - Part 1

I have not seen any of the water in the park since Friday, except for the Little
Pigeon River near the Spur, but I would assume it is getting high. So far it doesn't
seem to be that high but it has rained all night and that may change it. The reports
show that it has only rained about one-half to three-quarters of an inch in the park
at 2:00 AM this morning. That may just be enough to put the streams at a good
level and not very high. However, If the rain continues, it could bring them up above
normal. Anyway, I am going to write about fishing them as if they do get high
whether they do or not.  

When high water occurs, and by that I mean water than it not blown completely out
of the banks of the stream, it usually leaves only two basic choices as to how to
fish. You can fish the little streams near the headwaters where they are not likely to
be all that high or you can fish the high water. I prefer fishing the high water.

When the water in high, almost out of the banks, it can create conditions that are
great for fishing a streamer. In this scenario, I am assuming the water is too high to
wade safely and you have to fish from the banks. If the water is off-color or stained,
I rig up with a short, heavy leader - as short as four feet. I don't use the standard
"preformed leaders". I just use mono that test from twelve to fifteen pounds. It is its
only slightly off-color, I use a standard preformed 2X or 3X leader of seven and
one-half feet. Depending on just how much the water is stained, I use a more visible
colored streamer. If it is only slightly stained, I usually go with a streamer that is
basically white. If it is highly stained, with visibility of only a foot or two, I go with a
chartreuse streamer. There are other colors that will work. For example, black
usually works good in both clear and stained water. That is why I came us with the
colors of these particular streamers:







Images are thumbnail - click to enlarge

These are my
"Perfect Fly" Marabou Sculpin flies. I will continue with the methods I
use to fish these flies tomorrow.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh